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Syrian Media Report Israel Air Strike on T-4 Airbase

By DEBKAfile
The Syrian SANA described an air strike on Sunday night, July 8, that targeted the big T-4 airbase, which houses Iranian forces, near Tiyas in the Homs region. It was attributed to Israeli warplanes, purportedly flying into Syria from Jordan in the south, through Al-Tanf, where the US has an outpost. They were said to be flying flow to evade detection. These reports have not been confirmed. A Syrian army officer said that the Syrian air defense system fired several S-200 missiles to take down the Israeli jet after it entered Syrian airspace, but the warplane successfully evaded the attack. For lack of evidence, it can't yet be said for sure whether the air strike against T-4 actually happened, or was the invention of Syrian propagandists. DEBKAfile's military sources note the confused Syrian accounts of the incident may well be an Assad regime ploy to implicate US, Israel and Jordanian as collaborating to derail the ceasefire agreement the Russians obtained over the weekend with the rebels under attack in southern Syria. It sounded as Damascus wanted to discourage Russian President Vladimir Putin from seeking any deal on Syria at his meetings with President Donald Trump in Helsinki on July 16 or with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Moscow on July 11, alleging that all they both want is stir the pot and keep the military confrontation on the boil.

Amid Fury, Israel Incorporates Poland's Role in Holocaust into Auschwitz Trips

By Israel Hayom

In response to a recent joint statement by the leaders of Israel and Poland announcing that Poland's controversial Holocaust law – which prohibits accusing the Polish people of complicity in Nazi crimes committed during World War II – was amended to remove criminal sanctions. The Education Ministry has announced that school trips to Poland will now include curricula devoted to Poland's role in the Holocaust. The decision to update the curriculum of Israeli students' visits to Poland comes directly from Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who announced that the school system would not teach students about the joint statement from the Israeli and Polish governments regarding the amended law, which many in Israel oppose because it distorts history. A training program designed to prepare group leaders for the difficult trip to Auschwitz, which Israeli high schools offer every year, will now be overhauled to include material on the Polish population's treatment of Jews before, during and after the war. The students will also learn about the Poles' extensive collaboration with the Nazis – locals who informed the Nazis about Jews in hiding, locals who handed Jews over to the Nazis, and Polish citizens who murdered Jews themselves. The new material will also cover the heroic acts of Polish Righteous Among the Nations – gentiles who risked their own lives to save Jews.

The new study materials will complement the existing content of Israel's traditional school trips to Poland, which already includes visits to sites that are supposed to inspire debate - the cemetery in Kielce, for example, a small town where Poles carried out a pogrom against Jews when the war was over. Their former neighbors killed dozens of Polish Jews who had survived the Holocaust and wanted to go back to their homes in Kielce over a blood libel that Jews used the blood of Christian children in religious rites. "In light of Poland's attempt to whitewash the Poles' acts against Jews during the Holocaust, we will add to our instruction of the subject," Bennett said. "Many Poles helped the Nazis and murdered Jews during the Holocaust – it's an incontrovertible fact. This truth will be presented to Israeli students exactly as it happened so they can learn in depth what took place in Poland," he said.

Four Cave-Trapped Thai Boys Rescued with Israeli Technology

By the Jerusalem Post

Four of 12 schoolboys have been rescued so far from a flooded Thai cave after divers launched a daring and dangerous mission to free the children and their soccer (football) coach, who were trapped underground for more than two weeks, Thai officials said. "Today we managed to rescue and sent back four children to Chiang Rai Prachanukrua Hospital safely," said Narongsak Osottanakorn, the head of the rescue mission. "We sent back four children all safely." Israeli technology may be part of the answer that is being used to rescue the trapped from a flooded Thai cave. Israeli company Maxtech NetWorks have reportedly donated some of the emergency mobile communications tools used by the first responders. CEO Uzi Hanuni said that Thai authorities had requested assistance from the company's employee in Thailand. "There's a guy by the name of Assaf who lives in Thailand and he markets our systems," Hanuni told Israel Hayom. "They approached him and said they want them. The systems facilitate communication in areas without reception. We gave them our devices, and they took them into the cave. This is our Israeli contribution. We did it voluntarily." Donating the communication systems – which function like handheld radios – costs upwards of $100,000. But the resulting publicity from helping save the Thai children could easily compensate the firm many times over. The lack of reliable communication tools hampered earlier rescue attempts. Maxtech doesn't require a cell phone tower – and it's being used as a lifeline for the boys to get data and video-chat with loved ones. Because of the distance and depth – MaxTech's devices communicate wirelessly between one another – one link at a time. It's akin to beacons being lit one hilltop after another, gradually sending a message in a type of relay league. Rescuers are racing against the weather, as monsoon season threatens to raise water levels – flooding the section of the cave where the boys are stranded. Officials are pumping out water around-the-clock. The boys, aged between 11 and 16, went missing with their 25-year-old coach after soccer practice on June 23, setting out on an adventure to explore the cave complex near the border with Myanmar and celebrate a boy's birthday. The boys would have to be guided around murky passageways in deep water – and many of them do not know how to swim or dive. They are around 4 km. from the mouth of the cave. It is unclear when it will be safe for them to dive out, as Thailand's rainy season lasts through October and the boys lack specialized training. The children are mostly in stable condition – although some worry for their physical and mental health if their predicament continues indefinitely. They are being supplied with high-protein liquid food, along with painkillers and antibiotics. The group of mostly teenagers was playing soccer when they first took refuge in the cave from a torrential downpour. Thirteen foreign divers and five members of Thailand's elite Navy SEAL unit are trying to bring the rest of the boys - some as young as 11 and weak swimmers – through narrow, submerged passageways that claimed the life of a former Thai navy diver on Friday. Bursts of heavy monsoon rain soaked the Tham Luang Cave area in northern Chiang Rai province on Sunday and storms were expected in the coming weeks, increasing the risks in what has been called a "war with water and time" to save the team.

Study states Anne Frank's Family's US Visa Applications Were Lost, Not Rejected.

By JTA

Contrary to widely-held beliefs, Anne Frank and her family were never denied an entry visa to the United States, a new study by the museum for the Jewish diarist confirmed. The museum in Amsterdam known as the Anne Frank House published Friday its report on the immigration attempts of the family of Anne Frank, who penned journals of her time in hiding from Nazi occupation for two years until 1944. The journals became the world-famous "Diary of a Young Girl." She, her sister and parents were sent to concentration camps where only her father, Otto Frank, survived. "Although the United States had a far from generous policy with regard to Jewish refugees, it is clear that Otto, Edith, Margot and Anne Frank were not refused entry to the United States," the new study states. Due to rapidly-changing circumstances connected to World War II, the family's "immigration visa application to the American consulate in Rotterdam was never processed." The finding follows decades of uncertainty as to how exactly US immigration authorities handled the Franks' immigration applications. And it contradicts an oft-repeated claim of critics of the United States' past and current visa policies, including Washington Post columnist Elahe Izadi, who in 2015 penned an op-ed titled "Anne Frank and her family was also denied entry as refugees to the US."

More recently, journalists Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan made the same claim on the "Democracy Now!" show syndicated by Pacifica Radio. "The US Rejected Refugee Anne Frank — Let's Not Make the Same Mistake Again," read the title of their article from February. According to the study, one delay to the Franks immigration process followed the combing of the US consulate in Rotterdam in May 1940. All documents, including his visa application, were lost and had to be resubmitted. Otto's friend in the United States, Nathan Straus, used his financial resources and political connections to try to help the Franks emigrate. But this was complicated by the fact that the United States closed all German consulates, whereupon Nazi Germany closed all American consulates in Germany and Nazi-occupied territory. After the attack on Pearl Harbor and the suspension of transatlantic shipping traffic, travel to Cuba was impossible, thwarting his plan to emigrate from there to the United States. Otto Frank decided then to go into hiding with his family. "There were also obstacles from the United States," the study's authors noted. "In the absence of an asylum policy, Jews seeking to escape Nazi persecution in Europe had to go through a protracted emigration procedure. There was limited willingness to accept Jewish refugees." State Department officials were under instructions to scrutinize all applications as suspicions increased of foreign "spies and saboteurs infiltrating the US." Further US restrictions in 1941 made applicants with close relatives in German-occupied countries ineligible for visas. All applications were sent to Washington for review and applicants had to appear at a consulate in Europe for an interview. A "suspicious consular officer could still reject the visa." A Gallup poll the previous year had found 71% of respondents believed Nazi Germany had "already established a network of spies and saboteurs in the US." President Franklin Delano Roosevelt warned at the time that Jewish refugees could be "spying under compulsion."

Meet the Uber of Tefillin

By IsraelNationalNews.com
Meet Warpp: a new application that is a kind of 'social venture' that connects those who have tefillin with those who wish to put them on. It is the "Uber" of the tefillin. The concept is the same as with the popular application for car services, but with Wrapp 'service providers' earn a mitzvah rather than money. Two brothers from New York are behind the application's development. According to the plan, the goal in the app's first stage is that at least 10,000 people download the application on which dozens of people have labored for the past two years. In the future, they hope to see millions using it every day all over the world. As in similar cases, so with Wrapp - it all started by complete accident. One of the entrepreneurs wanted to speak to his friend in Israel, but the latter had to cut their conversation, saying "there's someone who waits for me every Friday to come and put on tefillin."

"You mean to tell me he sits a whole week waiting for you to come to him on Friday morning to put on tefillin?" The friend replied in the affirmative. "It doesn't make sense, someone has to do something," decided the New York Jew who at this stage wishes to remain anonymous. He didn't abandon the idea until he came up with the application, in which he invested much resource and effort. A few days after the application was launched, more than 4,500 users registered in Israel and many countries around the world. "It could be your boss or your neighbor upstairs, with whom you haven't exchanged a word in four years; or your taxi driver, or you're stuck at the airport, or in the hospital; anytime and anywhere, There's someone who will immediately make sure you have a pair of tefillin," says the app video description in Hebrew and English.

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